Lions first defeat of Central Missouri Mules since 2006

Tonight, the Missouri Southern football Lions hosted the Central Missouri Mules in an MIAA conference game. The Lions would be triumphant 21-14 in a game that went down to the wire.

The Lions started the game by forcing the Mules to a three and out, an occurrence that became common for the Lions as the evening progressed. The Lions received the ball on the Mules’ 38 yard line, but couldn’t capitalize on the great field position, turning the ball over on downs.

The Mules made the Lions pay for turning it over. On their first play after the turnover, the Mules connected on a 54 yard reception that out them in the red zone. They quickly punched it into the end zone to take a 7-0 lead.

That would be the last time the Mules led in the game.

On the Lions’ third play of the next drive, sophomore quarterback Jay McDowell found a hole in the line, made a quick cut and galloped 63 yards to put the Lions in prime position to score. Quickly after, McDowell proceeded to run the ball in for the Lions first score of the night.

The Lions started the second quarter with the ball on the Mules’ 35. Junior running back Terrance Allen ran for a 25 yard gain where he powered through would be tacklers and fought for several extra yards. Senior running back JJ Jones walked into the end zone on a two yard run to cap the drive. The Lions took a 14-7 lead.

The Lions defense followed up that score with a strong stand on defense. Senior Elijah Swen had a sack that put the Mules in a third and long that they couldn’t recover from.

The Lions got the ball back and added their third and final score of the night on another touchdown run by Jones.

That score would prove to be enough.

The Lions held the lead behind a very strong defensive showing by the Lions. The Mules would score once in the second half after a turnover by the Lions, but were never able to recover from the early deficit.

McDowell led the way for the Lions on offense, carrying the ball 21 times for 233 yards. On defense, Seniors Gatlin Ridgeway, Paco Varol and Swen all contributed sacks for the Lions in the win.

The Lions’ defense held the Mules to 200 total yards on the night.